Oatmeal is my favourite breakfast food. That might make me sound a little boring, but there are so many ways to eat this delicious stuff and it has a ton of health benefits. Whether you like Irish or Scottish steel cut oats, whole oats for making granola or even the instant kind (sans sugar), oats have loads of health benefits. Plus, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for kick-starting your metabolism and controlling hunger—studies have shown that people who eat a big breakfast weigh less than those who skip their morning meal.
Here's some great reasons to eat oatmeal: 1. Oats are easy on your digestive tract. A few years back I was having crazy stomach issues and I credit steel cut oatmeal for bringing me back from the brink. This fibre-rich breakfast coats your stomach and is slow to digest so that you won't be hungry again for hours. Oatmeal pro tip: Cook up a batch of steel cut oats at the beginning of the week and then simply heat it up each morning so you don't have to spend a full half hour cooking it from scratch. Throw in some almonds, cinnamon, apple slices and chia seeds to fill you full of vitamins, fibre and healthy omega-3 fats. You can also cook steel cut oats in a rice maker for a quicker dish or make them in a slow cooker! 2. Oats can help your heart. According to a study at Tufts University, phenolic antioxidants in oats obstruct the ability of blood cells to stick to artery walls. They contain anti-inflammatory compounds which can help prevent coronary heart disease. 3. Oats can help stabilize your blood sugar. Oatmeal and oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fibre which helps stabilize your blood sugar and eating a diet rich in whole grains can also reduce your risk of diabetes. 4. Oats contain ingredients that help your skin and hair. Oats contain iron, biotin, potassium and zinc which are great for building healthy locks. 5. Oatmeal makes a great, healthy treat. Instead of eating sugary processed oatmeal cookies, opt for a few pieces of dark chocolate and almonds mixed in with a bowl of oatmeal. Look for gluten-free oats if you're wheat sensitive or have Celiac disease. Make sure to skip quick cooking oats that come with sugar or processed ingredients inside. Also, the quick-cooking kind spike your blood sugar so if you do opt for this easy treat, make sure to add some protein to slow down the rise in blood sugar.